It's been over 20 years since Winona women bowlers last competed in a traveling league.
But that has changed this year. Patti Muenzenberger brought up the idea to Mandi Steffes at last year's Winona/La Crosse Bowling Challenge, asking if Winona would like to have a team or two compete in its league based out of La Crosse. This past summer, Steffes agreed to get two Winona teams in the league, which has been going since Sept. 12.
One Winona team, consisting of Steffes, Laurie Wiseman, Rose Schultz and Tina Benedict, is sponsored by Westgate Bowl, while the other, which consists of Jenny Glowczewski, Diane Marley, Keri Prigge, Keri Wegman, Julie Moldenhauer, Angie Pomeroy, Dawn Dunbar and Shirley Benedict, is sponsored by Winona Bowl.
The league consists of three teams from La Crosse, two from Winona, and one each from Sparta, Whitehall, Bangor, West Salem and Onalaska. Four-person teams get together two Saturdays a month at a different house to compete in the team competition, which is handicapped.
"I like the different houses and different competition," Steffes said. "The first week at All-Star Lanes (in La Crosse), the conditions were very oily. We bowled last week at West Salem on wooden lanes and they dried out. It's fun and it's different."
While the Winona teams aren't near the top of the standings, there have been some outstanding scores turned in. At West Salem, Marley rolled a 706 series, while Prigge, Wegman and Wiseman all added 600s. According to Steffes, those were the four highest scores rolled at West Bowl Lanes by women this year.
"For those who are serious and want to better themselves, it's good for them," Steffes said.
The league will compete at Winona Bowl on Nov. 26 and at Westgate Bowl on Dec. 17. A year-end tournament will be held on Feb. 18 at a site yet to be determined.
Keri Prigge was on a record pace Wednesday in the Sunsetters League at Westgate Bowl when she started the evening out with back-to-back 269 games. But the talented Prigge had to settle for a 179 her final game for a 717 national honor count. It was her first 700 of the year and the third highest score turned in by a woman bowler this season.
Julie Moldenhauer fired her second straight big score in the Alley Gaters League at Westgate with a 669 series Monday night. Tina Benedict added a season-high 660 series in the Pin Topplers League, and Laurie Wiseman carded her best score of the year, a 661, in the Mixers League, both at Westgate. Angie Pomeroy tossed the high game of the week with a 279 in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl, which led to a 627 honor count.
Last Thursday night, the Winona Bowl team from the Sparklers League turned in a 1,245 game, which is the fourth highest women's game ever recorded in Winona.
Steve Hawley led the men bowlers in the past week with a 300 game (the seventh in Winona this year) and a 756 national honor count in the Masters League at Westgate.
Adam Stockhausen hit it big Thursday night with a 785 series in the Action League at Westgate. Next door in the Classic League, Rick Prenot nailed a 757 and Bob Banicki added a 752.
Adding their first honor counts of the season last week were Steve Walters (710), Dan Chambers (704) and Kris Oeltjen (624).
(If you have bowling news, please e-mail Jim Kohner at email@example.com).